Aug 18 2014

Ferguson Symbolizes National Rage Over Police Killings of Black Men

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered National Guards into the embattled St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, “to help restore peace and order and to protect the citizens of Ferguson.” Protests last night resulted in the arrests of seven people and the shooting of one person. Streets were blocked, businesses were vandalized, and Molotov cocktails were thrown. The situation in Ferguson remains tense as residents remain angered by the brutality of St. Louis County police with the killing of 18 year old Michael Brown, and the police’s military-style response to protests.

Meanwhile, an autopsy of Brown’s body found that the young man, who was unarmed and had no record, had six bullet wounds, two of them in the head. On the same day that Ferguson police released the name of the officer who fired the shots, Darren Wilson, they released a video of a convenience store robbery claiming that Brown was a suspect. The police chief later claimed that Wilson did not know Brown was a suspect when he shot him.

Now, a story from several years ago has emerged of another African American man who was pulled over by police in Ferguson. Henry Davis was beaten while in police custody and then charged with “destruction of property,” for bleeding on the officers’ uniforms.

Ferguson seems to have become a major flashpoint of national rage over police brutality, with people drawing links between Michael Brown, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, John Crawford in Dayton, Ohio, and Ezell Ford in South LA. In Los Angeles, over the weekend hundreds marched to protest Ford’s death. The LAPD, just a week before Ford, had killed another South LA man named Omar Abrego, in front of his home. The Amtrak driver was beaten for more than 10 minutes by 2 sergeants and died hours later. San Bernadino County Sheriffs are also investigation for the death of a black man named Dante Parker who was tased while in custody.

GUEST: Kevin Gray, author of “Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics” and “The Decline of Black Politics: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama.” He is also the co-editor of a forthcoming book called “Killing Trayvon.”

Click here to read Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s article in Time.com.

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